Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You mean kids are SUPPPOSED to be a hassle?

Birdie doesn't think so.

Wish we'd all been ready

There is not just one way to respond, nor is there a single answer to the world's food problem. It may not be within our capacity to effect an answer. But it is within our capacity to search for a faithful response.--Doris Janzen Longacre, The More-with-Less Cookbook, 1976
I sit here eating homemade whole wheat toast and looking at the morning paper--there's a photo of a local Asian grocer with a big bag of rice. They've had a run on rice in that store, even though the price is up--and they're having trouble getting more.

I don't think even Mrs. Longacre could have foreseen that coming in her eat-more-simple-foods-like-rice cookbook. Rice was supposed to be the last standby when we couldn't get meat...

But rice, some people think...who cares? who eats rice? Maybe when we get Chinese food...
"They see the reports and they are panicking,'' said [the store employee], who emigrated to Canada from Cambodia nearly 20 years ago.

Rice is a staple for Asian families, he said. At his home, his family of five, and his parents, eat an eight-kilogram bag of rice in two weeks.

"We eat two meals of rice a day,'' he said.
And if that doesn't wake people up, the cost of wheat flour is going up too.

Of course, some people--how this is possible, I don't know--don't seem to see a connection between "wheat" and "bread" and "flour" and everything else they eat that has grain in it. Did you ever hear that joke about bread rationing during WWII, about the lady who said she didn't care if bread was rationed because all they ate was toast?

These are some of the things I would like to keep doing during the threat of strange, tough times--or start doing, or do better.

1. Go back through some of my old-fashioned, '70's or earlier "frugal books," especially cookbooks; mark and use ideas that would still work and that I could pass on to others. You know, it's not the first time some of us have seen tough economic times; even the early years of our marriage (the early '90's) we dealt with very high food prices. Wedding rings were cheap, broccoli was not.

2. Encourage our family--everyone--to accept more low-cost foods--like hot cereal, beans, brown rice, homemade soup--and not to waste what we have. This is a big issue for us because we do have picky eaters.

3. Keep Peter Menzel's book Hungry Planet within reach.

4. Get better at creative/alternative baking.

5. Point anybody who asks towards some of the great money/food-saving blogs out there.

6. Use our pressure cooker to save energy, and the crockpot to save time.

7. Plan some no-cook warm weather suppers.

8. Focus on the non-commercial aspects of holidays.

9. Keep older things out of the landfill by continuing to use them, or "repurpose" them if possible.

10. Eat more potatoes.

Write to Anne of Green Gables--last chance

Today, April 30, is the deadline to enter the 100 Years of Anne contest.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You know you're a homeschooler when...they HAVE to hear the Real Thing

Someone on another board asked what we're currently reading aloud with our children.

Crayons and I are reading The Water Babies.

We read a very short version of it in My Bookhouse, and I told her that that version left most of the real story out of it (Mrs. Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By hardly comes into it at all), so she wanted me to read her the real thing. I do skip a few pages here and there whenever Kingsley goes on and on about something (like the periods of architecture that made up The Place--we just agreed that it was a Very Big House). I skip his satirical bits as well-- references to people like Huxley--and four pages of philosophical meanderings on why there might or might not be water babies at all.

I don't know how far we'll get with it--Crayons is a bit young for some of it, but it's what she asked for--and I've never had ANY of mine ASK to be read The Water Babies. The Apprentice thought it was cruel and unusual punishment.

Quick trip around the blogosphere

Birdy doesn't believe in luck, but she's wondering about the supernatural connection between her packing winter clothes away and the possibility of snow here tomorrow.

And MomAdvice posts on Frugal Hacks about entertaining in small (or otherwise awkward) spaces, with a cool idea about a Retro Housewife theme. Hey, I could do that!

And it is Tuesday, otherwise known as Carnival of Homeschooling day. Homeschool Buzz hosts this week with a Visions of the Future Edition.

And the CM Carnival is up at Freedom Academy.

That should keep you going, yes?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The strangest spring weather

We still have lots of violets.

All the flowery kinds of trees are in blossom. (Spring allergies are in full swing too.)

We have dandelions just opening up.

But...we also have two dandelions right outside the window that have already gone to seed.

In April?

I can't figure this year out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Coffeemamma's Baby

Coffeemamma has begun posting about the recent events at her Blue Castle--mainly Baby's most recent eye surgery.

Crayons and all the rest of us send our friend Baby love and best wishes.

Not by bread alone

Many real-life Treehouse discussions lately have centred around food. Both in what-are-we-to-eat terms (how should we or even can we accommodate certain food sensitivities and/or allergies?) and in how-are-we-to-afford-it terms; and, maybe more importantly, we have to see this in the larger context of mounting world hunger and rising prices. Every time I hear about grain prices going up, I think of Larry Norman's "a piece of bread could buy a bag of gold."

I've linked to these comments by Edward Espe Brown in a previous post about food.

Remember this part?
"A group of us would eat sixteen, eighteen, twenty half slices of bread, the equivalent of eight to ten full slices, and this was not light and airy but homemade, chewy, dense bread, plus gobs of spread. And very few people gained weight. Perhaps all those calories got burned up in the frenzy to eat more, though I was working pretty long hours, too."
Maybe those monks were part Squirrel.

Sometimes thinking about cooking is a necessary distraction. The past season in the Treehouse has not been without its confusions and stresses, and sometimes working out a grocery list or blogging about a recipe is a safe and fairly undemanding thing to do. Jan Karon agreed with that in the last Mitford book: "Let Esther bake," Father Tim advised.

There are people out there who might begrudge even our blogging forays into the pleasures or details of what we eat. Surely there are bigger things to consider in this life.

But then I read this reminder from Ed:
"Come to your senses. It is not the things of this world, be they chocolate or brown rice, that lead you astray. Losing your way comes from giving no mind to what is present while chasing after imaginary pleasures which are illusive and unobtainable. To wake up is to know what is already yours."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mom's books, or each cycle of the tide

"Take any books of your mom's that you want," Dad said.

Aside from a few of Mom's longtime personal favourites, there really weren't many books left in the bookcase; she was more of a book-passer-onner than a book-keeper. I took only three.

One was a high-school copy of Heroic Tales in Verse, edited by the Canadian poet E.J. Pratt, with Mom's name and "10A" written inside the cover. Something from a young girl I never knew, the age of my Apprentice, with nothing more on her mind than scribbling the difference between blank verse and free verse in the back of her literature book.

One was a copy of Out to Canaan, that I'd given Mom a few years ago. Something from her last years; something about getting older.

The third was a late-70's paperback copy of Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Maybe I gave that to her too, I don't remember; but in any case I found it somehow appropriate. A 1950's book, in a printing from the time when Mom was about my age now. Again a re-read for me, but I drank in Anne's loving descriptions of channelled whelks and moonshells, her "time out" on a private beach, and her musings on the stages of our lives. She wrote that "woman today is still searching. We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them. With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them....Mechanically we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have, I think, unwittingly lost."

Did Mom ever nod her head at that quote? Did she wish, during the turbulence of our growing up, for a quiet week on a beach to pick up those same shells? I don't know; we shared books, but didn't often talk about them afterwards. I like to think she did, if only because she kept the book when she'd given so many others away.

I read (re-read) Out to Canaan over the next few days, wondering if Mom had gotten around to reading this, and if she'd enjoyed it; if she'd laughed when Gene stepped in Esther's orange marmalade cake; if she'd related at all to Father Tim's worries over retirement; and there's the unforgettable scene of the church ladies trying to get the aforesaid cake recipe out of Esther with her two broken arms and her jaw wired shut...("She blinked twice, that's no. Try again. One teaspoon? Oh, thank God! Vanita, one teaspoon.")

And then, near the end, this Christmas Eve vignette:

"He reached up to the closet shelf for the camera and touched the box of his mother's things--the handkerchiefs, her wedding ring, an evening purse, buttons....He would not take it down, but it had somehow released memories of his mother's Christmases, and the scent of chickory coffee and steaming puddings and cookies baking on great sheets....'Mother...' he whispered into the darkened warmth of the closet. 'I remember...'"

I was glad that part came so near the end of the book. I was glad it was followed by nothing but joy.

From Gift from the Sea:

"Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid. And my shells? I can sweep them all into my pocket. They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally."

"All who are in need, let them come and celebrate the Passover"

Come and celebrate this week with Ragamuffin Studies.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two good posts on Frugal Hacks

1. An interview with Gina who blogs at Six in the Country. "Somehow when I decided to challenge myself to an entire year’s food budget of $1500, including mass amounts of products for resell, it became my niche. I get many questions on shopping and finding good deals. I also get lots of questions on menus and budgeting. Many people seem interested that I can make it on so little. I don’t know if I will make it, but I am giving it my very best try."

2. Janel's post on the hidden costs of things, "I Missed That Box!" "Some of you may envy me for having a big house and get testy when I whine about it. I can appreciate that. Unfortunately, if you magically got one like it tomorrow, you would find out that big houses come with hidden and unrealized costs. By the way, those expenses have nothing to do with the mortgage payment, closing costs or taxes."

Now that's a cool job (or how to make buffalo burgers)

How would you like to work at the Canadian Living Test Kitchen answering peoples' cooking questions?

They've posted many of them (plus answers) here.

A sampling:

My husband is a vegetarian and I'm lactose intolerant. Can you recommend some books that can get us away from stir-frying?
How long does vinegar keep?
What is couscous and what salads can it be used in?
What is the difference between the many olive oils? Extra-virgin, virgin -- I thought a virgin was a virgin!
Any tips for cooking with low-fat cheese?
Ho do I store my homegrown chives?
What exactly is Canadian bacon?
What do they mean when they ask you to cut lamb crosswise?

And my personal favourite:

Are there any recipes specific to buffalo or do I use beef recipes and substitute the meat?

Not all pumpernickel is to eat

Some of it's to laugh at. All kinds of Wayne and Schuster, including The Brown Pumpernickel (a.k.a. The Scarlet Pimpernel) and Rinse the Blood Off My Toga (Julius Caesar).

Do people younger than me still find these funny?

Faith and blessings

For those of you who've followed Heather's story on Especially Heather, you will want to read her update yesterday and remember to keep praying for her and her children. I find it amazing that she--and others I know who have had huge difficulties--can keep plugging ahead with homeschooling and be planning for next fall's school, through it all. You know who you are.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Canadian Corner

The Second Carnival of Canadian Home Educators is up at Jacqueline's Jabberings. For such a big country with so many homeschoolers, Jacqueline hasn't gotten much response yet (okay, I know, I didn't send anything either this time).

If you're a north-of-the-border homeschooler and you have a blog, think about sending her something for the next one!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Naomi Mitchison

OK, now I know who Naomi Mitchison was. (Besides being the author of The Land the Ravens Found.)

Definitely an interesting person, although controversial. Somehow I missed ever hearing about her.

By coincidence, her uncle was Lord Haldane--the one quoted by Charlotte Mason.
"Education," said Lord Haldane, some time ago, "is a matter of the spirit,"––no wiser word has been said on the subject, and yet we persist in applying education from without as a bodily activity or emollient. We begin to see light. No one knoweth the things of a man but the spirit of a man which is in him; therefore, there is no education but self-education, and as soon as a young child begins his education he does so as a student. Our business is to give him mind-stuff, and both quality and quantity are essential. Naturally, each of us possesses this mind-stuff only in limited measure, but we know where to procure it; for the best thought the world possesses is stored in books; we must open books to children, the best books; our own concern is abundant provision and orderly serving.

Booksale finds

This weekend was the annual University Women's Booksale. Some years I never get out of the main room to look at the kids' books or anything else. This year I didn't get out of the kids' room (which was the same room as the tapes and videos, so Mr. Fixit and the Squirrelings found some multimedia stuff there as well).

I was kind of going for the oddball stuff--the "maybe someday this will be worth something" or just for fun books.

I found several volumes of the Best in Children's Books that we didn't have, AND 11 volumes of a 12-volume My Bookhouse set.

Inside Music: How to Understand, Listen to, And Enjoy Good Music, by Karl Haas.
Ola, by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire.
How to Make Snop Snappers and Other Fine Things, by Robert Lopshire.
Mystery in the Night Woods, by John Peterson. Vintage Scholastic. For all the rodent/critter-story fans:
The Winter Fun Book, by the editors of OWL magazine. (One of Ponytails' favourite magazines.)

The Children Come Running.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a souvenir book written for "young Canadians" at the time of her coronation.

Hiawatha's Childhood, illustrated by Herbert Morton Stoops. (really.) A 1941 picture book with lithographs.

The Greedy One, by Patricia Miles Martin, illustrated by Kazue Mizumura. 1964. A small hardcover story about Japan.

The Story of Grettir the Strong, by Allen French. We already have one copy of this, but I thought it was worth getting and maybe passing on to someone.

The Circus is Coming, by Noel Streatfeild. Like Ballet Shoes only about living in the circus.

Last but not least, one which I'd never heard of but thought looked interesting: The Land the Ravens Found, by Naomi Mitchison.
(And the whole lot cost under $7. That's the best part.)

Bread machines, without a manual

We've had a breadmaker loaned to us!

No manual attached, though.

However, Susanne, the new owner of Hillbilly Housewife, has taken on this exact situation in "What to do when your manual is missing."

After ten years, the Internet still amazes me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

You too can be a Frugal Hack

Check out the scrolling Frugal Hacks blogroll down there in the sidebar!

More details and get your own--here.

Just (x) your answer

Tiffany from Blessed Existence posted this game. I have left a few of the more personal questions out.

Have you ever…
(x) Gone on a blind date--Yes, and I ended up marrying him.
(x) Skipped School--Well...only during university.
(x) Been to Canada
() Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Florida
(x) Been on a plane--Yes.
(x) Been lost
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country--that's hard to say, since I live almost in the middle of the country. But yes, I have been to the East Coast.
(x) Gone to Washington , DC
(x) Swam in the ocean--well, waded anyway.
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons--with crayons or with Crayons?
( ) Sang Karaoke ….
( ) Paid for a meal with coins only?
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t?
(x) Made prank phone calls
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about (does a sleepless, teething baby count?)
(x) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
( ) Been skinny dipping outdoors

Here, I threw in a few more.
(x) Stirred a pot of soymilk (or anything) bigger than you were
(x) Rode on an elephant (OK, it was at Busch Gardens so there wasn't much to it)
(x) Met someone who later became the Prime Minister or the President or the Governor-General (how about two of those at once?)
(x) Had more than one root canal
(x) Slept outside without a tent

If you give a Crayons a Highlights magazine...

(This one)...

And some fancy markers from a hamburger kids' meal...

And a vintage copy of Simply Fun: Things to Make And Do...

She will ravage the recycling bin,

empty the tissue box,

use the last paper bag to make a jester on a stick,

and cajole her Daddy into helping her make a beautiful rain stick out of a cardboard tube.

Not to mention making cards for everybody.

And a house for her Mr. Koala.

All within about two weeks, in between reading The Secret Language and The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse, playing on the Charlie and Lola website, and rediscovering the snow-free backyard (now rimmed with violets!) and the swingset.

Every home should have a Crayons.

Good point there

The Duchess of Burgundy rants about maternity clothes:
"I did manage to find a couple of pairs of jeans that will still fit, and one cute shirt. Unfortunately, one of the pairs of jeans had--shudder--zippers at the bottoms of the legs. I thought that style had been safely buried in the 80s, but either it is coming back or someone really waited a long time to clean out her closet. Considerations of the style aside, though, what kind of sense is there in making zip-leg jeans for women who can't reach their shoelaces? That pair is destined to become cut-offs."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, the intoxicatingness

of sunshine and violets and children being able to run on the grass without gooshing their shoes too much. There is great rejoicing.

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up today

This edition is hosted by In The Sparrow's Nest. Thank you, Melissa!

I won't waste words on a title

You Are a Semi-Colon

You are elegant, understated, and subtle in your communication.

You're very smart (and you know it), but you don't often showcase your brilliance.

Instead, you carefully construct your arguments, ideas, and theories until they are bulletproof.

You see your words as an expression of yourself, and you are careful not to waste them.

You friends see you as enlightened, logical, and shrewd.

(But what you're saying often goes right over their heads.)

You excel in: The Arts

You get along best with: The Colon

Monday, April 14, 2008

What's next, rummage-sale cooking?

Meredith has some interesting links to articles (and a cookbook!) about cooking from the 99 cent store.

Sounds kind of like our post about groceries from Giant Tiger. But Giant Tiger at least has dairy, bread, frozen food and a few fresh vegetables. I'm visualizing a dollar-store dinner made up of rice crackers, coffee whitener, pudding mix, and canned peas...

But apparently somebody thinks you can do it!

[Update: OK, I watched the video and obviously there's a big difference between what's available at Jack's 99 Cent and what's on the shelf at our Dollarama! I mean, tilapia from the dollar store? Not here, my friend. Maybe the V-8 juice.]

Learning in the Great Outdoors: Featured Blog Carnival

The Blog Carnival home page has a daily featured blog. Yesterday it was the CM Carnival, and today it's Learning in the Great Outdoors, hosted (this time) at Barb's Heart of Harmony!

Yeah CMers!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So it doesn't get lost in the comments

Marsha posted this link to A Year of CrockPotting.

I wouldn't mind cooking every day in the crockpot...but cleaning it is another story.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Go visit the DHM today

She and her Progeny have more to say right now than I do, for instance on the subject of why homeschooling is NOT a sin. She has also posted a "CM template" you can print out and fill in.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How they do what they do

Lindafay tells about how her family keeps on truckin' with their homeschool--in the midst of everything.

What's for supper? (made in Mr. Fixit's Big Thrift Shop Find)

No, not a bread machine--that would be too good.

But Mr. Fixit did come home last night with a thrift-shopped version of our old food processor. Same brand, slightly newer model, great shape. No blade.

We have a blade that works fine! It's the rest of the thing that's been making me mental--the blade has started sticking on the shaft and when you pull it out you get a shower of crumbs. Or of whatever you were making.

Also I managed to damage the bowl of our old one. This was our second bowl...

Anyway--we now have a replacement, for under $10! So happy.

To welcome the New Old Appliance, I used it for several parts of tonight's dinner. We are having Layered Enchilada Bake (otherwise known as Mexican Lasagna), a pot of rice to put out the fire (we are cowards), salad, and Frozen Tofu-Pudding Pie with Fruit Topping and Granola Crumb Crust. The Appliance did a whiz-bang job on chopped veggies, tofu filling, and ground-up granola. (I already had the cheese grated in the freezer.)

I feel like a little kid with a Tonka Toy. Vrrm, vrrm.

First Carnival of Canadian Home Educating Bloggers

No fooling this time.

You can check out this new carnival at Jacqueline's Jabberings.

And the 119th Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling (Workout Edition) is hosted at A Pondering Heart.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gluten-free Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a story

My mom, my aunt and my grandma used to pass recipes around to each other a lot. The interesting thing was that, like that old game show where moms had to guess which ketchup-chocolate-peanut creation was baked by their own offspring, each person's baking seemed to turn out differently--even using the same recipe. One recipe that they all had a try at, about thirty years ago, was what we called Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies--because they came out of the Dutch Cookbook--which I can't remember the proper name of or even whether it really was a Dutch cookbook or Pennsylvania Dutch.

These cookies were like nothing I've had in years. They had approximately twice the fat and twice the sugar of any normal chocolate chip cookie (I seem to remember a cup of butter AND a cup of shortening); one cookie on a paper napkin would leave a grease splotch as big as if you'd put a piece of just-fried bacon there instead. The other notable thing about them was their fragility--you needed the paper napkin, because these cookies would break in half without warning and leave a trail of crumbs everywhere--greasy crumbs, of course. We kids thought they were wonderful.

I remember that recipe kind of running rampant for a year or so after my mom and her fellow bakers discovered it; they kept making batches and trying to figure out why one person's were flatter or puffier than another's. Then I think it died a natural death (probably of clogged arteries).

Flash-forward to this week when I got an unquenchable chocolate-sugar craving and decided to adapt (gluten-free, egg-free) an old chocolate-chip recipe from Family Fun magazine. (I looked online but didn't find it on their website.) Results: a pale, slightly fragile chocolate chip cookie with a tiny bit of sandy texture from the rice flour, but otherwise quite an acceptable taste. It was when I was eating a second, or maybe a third, that I realized what was tugging at the back of my mind: made with gluten-free flours, these are about as close to Those Cookies as I've had in about thirty years. Well, without the greasy splotches.

So here's the recipe. The only complicated thing about it (if you have the gluten-free flours) is that I cut down a flour mix from this wonderful post on the Going Gluten-Free blog. I didn't have enough of everything to make a big batch of flour mix, so I made a third-size batch, which was enough for the cookies and left a cupful of mix to use for something else.

Clear as melted chocolate chips?

Gluten-Free Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs or equivalent replacer (powdered replacer mixed with liquid)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups of this flour mix: 2 cups white rice flour, 1/3 cup each tapioca flour, potato starch, and corn starch; and 1 tsp. Xanthan gum (see note above: you will have some mix left over)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips or as desired (we only put in about a cupful)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter, sugars, eggs (or replacer) and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients and add.
Stir in chocolate chips last.
Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes (watch them, don't let them get dark). Cool on pans several minutes, then on rack.
Makes about 60 cookies.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Too bad Bunny Bup wasn't so lucky***

(***For Coffeemamma.)

It's always nice when a loved one reappears. Even if it's a stuffed one. Especially when it's a stuffed one.

Let's all play squish-the-homeschoolers-in-the-closet--maybe not

Birdie, you are too funny. Even in a tornado drill.
"I told my children yesterday that I wasn’t going to go through that again unless a) I have cleaned out Eaglewood’s closet first b) there are enough snacks, drinks, comfy pillows and (most importantly) books to go around and c) we have somehow managed to make room for a jog trampoline or something because (and this is key) three people with ADD or ADHD should NEVER EVER be locked in a closet together unless we have something to DO! I’m just saying…"

Horton with an agenda (though somewhat confused)

I found this blog post about the new Horton movie. I haven't seen the movie, can't fairly comment, but the "pouch-schooling kangaroo" points do make one wonder if there's more of an agenda mixed with the popcorn than a Mama Squirrel would expect.

And I didn't know that about the author of Horton (see the comments), that he didn't want his book to be used as a pro-life tract. I'm not surprised...but I'm disappointed.

Miss Maggie does doll clothes

The lady can cook and sew too! (I thought the DHM's Jenny and any other seamstresses might like to see her photos--scroll down to the bottom of the post.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April Fools! By Ponytails

I know it a day late but..

Supper's in the oven tonight

Crustless, eggless "quiche"--or, in nicer terms, Spinach-Cheese Bake (a recipe from The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook)

Baked sweet potatoes

Mixed-berry-and-apple crisp

(Note to self: don't believe every cookbook author who says egg replacer will make a decent quiche. Oh well.)

The backbone's connected...

To read and chew on: Melissa's Conversations and Connections.

OK, you really had me going

I will reassure you first that this new book was AN APRIL FOOL'S JOKE. Just so you don't have a heart attack. (Hat tip to Read Roger.)

Sadly, I swallowed it wholesale. I mean, look what they've done to Pooh and Tigger and Martha. Why not Beezus and Ramona?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Read along with Roger

Read Roger muses on the value of hard books--specifically Middlemarch. (A favourite of Charlotte Mason's also.)

April Fool Dinner Menu

Beef Porcupines

Mini-Rolls (we made these yesterday and froze them)

Silly Salad Sundaes (make-your-own: toppings include chopped celery, apple, peanuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows...)

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is Up

One Child Policy Homeschool hosts the biweekly CM Carnival.

Ambleside Online--now easier to use

Introducing the new-and-improved Ambleside Online website, in the big economy size. Check out the new introduction page!

Big thanks to all those who have put their thoughts and know-how into these home improvements, including Tim and Tim's Mom.
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